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Qui reste à la maison ? Organisation du travail rémunéré et des congés après une naissance au sein des couples bi-actifs en Belgique

Jonas Wood and Leen Marynissen

Population (french edition), 2019, vol. 74, issue 3, 323-354

Abstract: Although Western countries have witnessed the unprecedented rise of the dual-earner model, the shift towards gender equality in the labour force remains incomplete as gendered divisions of paid work are articulated after childbearing, and the overwhelming majority of parental leave is used by mothers. Using Belgian register-based panel data for 1999?2010, we assess dual-earner couples? relative employment characteristics prior to childbearing in relation to parental employment and leave uptake strategies. Multinomial logit models support the microeconomic hypothesis that, through specialization and bargaining, there is less likelihood of leaving the labour force among partners with higher pre-birth wages, more working hours, higher employment intensity, and larger workplaces. Regarding the assumption that gendered patterns in leave-taking are related to lower opportunity costs for partners with lower wages and easier access to parental leave, particularly in relation to stronger labour force attachment or large workplaces, limited evidence has been found in support of this idea. Finally, simulations indicate that, at the aggregate-level, the impact of gendered pre-birth employment characteristics is not strong enough to overturn gender inequality in response to childbearing. As to parental leave uptake in particular, this persisting gender inequality is potentially related to gendered parenting norms and institutions.

Keywords: gender; life course; parental employment; parental leave; work and family; Belgium (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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